Lived Ecumenism…

“Today, as Christians, all of us are called to put behind us all prejudice toward the faith that others profess with a different emphasis or language, to offer one another forgiveness for the sins committed by those who have gone before us, and together to implore from God the gift of reconciliation and unity,” Pope Francis March 31, 2017

Meditation: This Sunday we began the journey of Germans, both Catholics and Protestants, worshipping together. Five young Catholic families joined us officially for at least 9 months or more. I am using first communion teaching materials from the Catholic Church in Germany. There will be much learning from and with each other. I am curious how we will celebrate communion with each other. From the Catholic side there is still reluctance. How can we honor our differences? I trust that we will find creative ways to respect each other, to acknowledge our differences and celebrate our commonalities. I am grateful that the parents allow a female pastor to teach their children about the Christian faith in Catholic colors. Some things I won’t be able to do (like the sacraments of Confession and Catholic Communion). However many things I can teach. I am grateful for the trust of these parents to practice the gift of ecumenical unity.

Prayer: Gracious God, I am deeply touched to be the pastor of both Protestants and Catholics. Lead me with Your Spirit so that I can be sensitive to our Catholic sisters and brothers. I feel so honored to introduce their children to the art of prayer, to stories and images of the Christian faiths. Thank You for my Catholic colleague who will fly in next May to complement me and celebrate the sacraments with the children. I am so grateful to actually be living ecumenism together with our Catholic brothers and sisters. Amen

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14